Age of Calamity: Demo Review

Having invested many hours into the original Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U, I thought it would be interesting to try the demo for the next entry in The Legend of Zelda spin-off of Dynasty Warriors, Age of Calamity on the Switch.  Unlike the original, which had a story that stood apart from the rest of the Zelda franchise, Age of Calamity is a prequel set 100 years before Breath of the Wild.

The Hyrule Warriors games have you essentially cutting through hordes of enemies like a hot knife through butter, making you feel undeniably powerful.  You’ll be destroying hundreds and even thousands of Bokoblins and Lizalfos with ease, with stronger enemies like Moblins and Wizzrobes showing up, as well.  The demo even features a battle against a Guardian, which I remember being a lot tougher in BotW…  (It helps that Link’s shield is incredibly effective against such powerful lasers!)

No one stands before Link and lives!

The demo features three playable characters, Link, Impa, and Princess Zelda.  Each character has a similar, yet unique moveset.  By this, I mean everyone has their own various melee attacks, and they all share four Sheikah Slate moves, remote bombs, cryonis (ice), magnesis (use on enemies with metal weapons), and stasis (freeze time), but they work differently depending on the character.  I didn’t exactly utilize these attacks too much during the demo, so I can’t describe the differences too well, but I did enjoy having Link throw bombs at enemies’ faces!  This was often sufficient to break through my foes’ defenses in order to defeat them before their health is depleted with a weak point smash.  You can also obtain useful weapons like various elemental rods to burn, freeze, or electrocute your enemies!

The stars of the demo, Zelda, Link, and Impa!

Whether or not you’d prefer the original Hyrule Warriors (there’s even a Definitive Edition on the Switch that includes all the DLC) or Age of Calamity depends on a few factors.  The former focuses on The Legend of Zelda franchise in general, with 29 playable characters, though I didn’t particularly like the story, which I vaguely remember involved some scantily clad female sorceress.

Age of Calamity, on the other hand, is very focused on Breath of the Wild, which is great if you loved the game like I did, but not so much if you didn’t.  Unfortunately, the demo ended before we got to meet Mipha, Daruk, and the other Champions, which count among the game’s 18 playable characters.  As mentioned earlier, the story takes place 100 years before BotW, which I found intriguing, though I heard the story is more of a what-if scenario than actual canon.

The demo took me roughly two hours and covers two full levels, plus a few additional challenges (defeat a bunch of enemies in a limited time, defeat enemies with explosives, etc), plus a handful of little “side quests” where you provide the required materials, which grant your characters certain upgrades, like an additional heart added to your health or an extra button press added to a combo attack.

Video from YouTube User: Virtual Bastion

If you love Hyrule Warriors or Breath of the Wild and enjoy wiping out hundreds of foes with ease using a variety of playable characters, then Age of Calamity might be for you.  While the game is $59.99 on the Switch, it sounds like you get your money’s worth, as I hear there is 20 hours of story and 70-80 hours of gameplay for the completionists out there.